I hope everyone is doing well even as the days get shorter (at least for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere). I’m writing with a conference recap and two upcoming opportunities.
Earlier this month, Danica Savonick and I brought our Inkcap discussions to the American Studies conference. Our collaborators in preparing for the session were Alyssa Arbuckle, Mabel Ho, Britt Munro, and Carrie Smith, who were unfortunately unable to attend in person. Notes from the session are available here.
The discussion was small, but also beautiful, generative, and energizing, with a broad disciplinary range represented among participants. It underscored the importance of holding space for conversations of this nature, something that has been a mainstay of Inkcap since the beginning. I’m still thinking about what that might look like as the group continues to evolve.
It also just felt good to be in real space with people again, thinking together about the stakes of inquiry and research and teaching, meeting new people and catching up with friends and colleagues. ASA is a really special organization, too; the whole gathering was imbued with so much care, not only in the session topics but in the administration of the conference itself. I felt lucky to be a part of it.
By now you all know that I think it’s completely counterproductive to talk about career pathways in higher ed if we’re not also talking about labor, care, and justice. Luckily, I’m not alone in that.
I’m so happy to say that along with stellar colleagues Jim McGrath, Eduard Arriaga, and Liz Grumbach, I’ll be co-leading a series of events that looks at professional development through precisely this lens. Titled Making DH Work for Us: Labor, Care, and Careers, the series is hosted by the Association for Computers and the Humanities (ACH), where I and the other co-leads serve on the executive committee. We hope it will offer space to think, ways to connect, and tools to take action.
The series is free, and all of us leading it are volunteering our time. We’re all doing it because we care about this, a lot. So we hope you’ll join us for the first session, Discerning the Kind of Work You Want To Do, on Thursday, Nov 17 at 12pm EST. You don’t have to be an ACH member to participate; all are welcome. I’d encourage anyone who has been dropping into Inkcap discussions to consider joining us if you can.
In addition to the ACH professional development session on November 17, we are slated for our next Inkcap discussion on Wednesday, December 14 at 3pm EST. Please register, and mark your calendars! I’d like to have us read Hannah Alpert-Abrams’ zine, Finding Your Purpose, which you can download free from Hannah’s website. I’ve been wanting to dig into this for quite some time, and I think it will be super useful and thought-provoking—both for thinking about our own relationships to careers/work, and in thinking about how we guide and mentor others. Hope to see many of you then.
Would anyone be interested in a lightweight coworking/writing accountability group? I’m thinking about setting aside a time, maybe once or twice a month, for the kind of brain-intensive work that is sometimes easy to put off (writing, grant development, anything complex and thorny but not necessarily urgent. I’d open up a zoom and we could all simply work alongside one another for a bit of solidarity and accountability. As a side benefit, it would establish a community of readers for when someone is ready for an extra set of eyes. If you’re interested please email me (katina [at] katinarogers [dot] com) and I’ll follow up.
Hope to see folks at one of the upcoming discussions. Feel free to invite others! The Nov/Dec sessions in particular will be good for grad students who might be thinking about their future pathways. And thanks, as always, for reading.